In ActiveCampaign allows you to send messages to your contacts. These are the people who have submitted their details to a form on, for example, the website and have given permission for their data to be used.

This manual will explain how to create an email campaign, what you need for it and how it can be sent.

Creating lists

Before you can create a campaign, it is necessary to clarify who should receive the messages from this campaign. To do this, you create a list of contacts who have shared data with you. If lists have already been created, you can skip this step and continue to the section on creating a campaign. In the tab “Lists” choose the option “Add New List” to create a new list.

Next you give the list a name, fill in the company name, the address (the URL where the list will be created for) and add a reminder for contacts explaining why they will be contacted via this list. If you have filled in all these data then click on “Create List”.

Add contacts to ActiveCampaign lists

After you have created a list, you can now add contacts to it. There are a number of ways to add contacts to a list. You can do this by adding data using a CSV file, by adding contacts manually, or by using, for example, a “Automation” to have a contact added to a list.

The most common method of adding a group of contacts to a list is to use a CSV file containing the contact information. To use such a file, click on the button marked “Import” in the upper right corner of the screen. Then click “Import from file” and select the file you want to use. You can now link the data from the CSV file to the fields you use in ActiveCampaign for contacts.

ActiveCampaign Create Campaign

Now that you have created a list and added contacts to the list, you can start creating the campaign itself. To do this, go to the “Campaigns” tab in ActiveCampaign. Then click on “New Campaign” to create a new campaign. You have the choice of different types for creating a campaign, in this example we will use the “Standard” type.

The campaign type “Standard” allows you to send an email directly to contacts, or you can choose to plans for a future date. Select the “Standard” campaign and give the campaign you want to create a name. Finally, click “Next” at the top right of the screen. In addition to the “Standard” type, it is also possible to select from other types that you can use to run a campaign.

This allows you, for example, to have the emails sent based on a date, in response to a recipient’s action, or to send messages with different content for your target group to test with.

Select lists

The list you have created earlier can now be selected to be used in your email campaign. It is possible to select one list of contacts to receive the message or to select multiple lists. To do this, click on the checkbox next to the name of the list. On the right side of the line, you will see how many contacts are active in the list you selected.

It is also possible to send a campaign to a segment of one or more lists. Here, it is only possible to provide one segment at a time with an email campaign. To create a segment, select the list and click on the link with “Segment selected lists” that appears at the top of the list box. Click on this option and a segment selection list will open if you have already created it. It is also possible to create a new subgroup from the list by choosing “Create New Segment”.

create new segment

Choose layout in ActiveCampaign

After selecting a list or a segment of contacts that should receive the email campaign, you can start formatting the campaign. It is possible to select between two options. You can select to use “Pre-designed templates” where you can select from a wide range of designs that have already been applied. Here, it is also possible to customize the templates so that they meet your own needs.

The second possibility is to format and create a message yourself. For this, you use the option “Build From Scratch”. With this, you can create a template for a message yourself by using the editor provided, create an email campaign using HTML or create a message with just text. It is also possible to select an email campaign that has been used previously as the basis for the campaign you are creating now.

By doing this, you only need to change certain parts of the campaign before you can send it. In the example below, we are using a template that is already present in ActiveCampaign. To make a choice for this, hover your mouse over a template and then click on the “Use This Design” option that appears on the screen. Then you can fill in a subject and details about you as the sender. These data can be changed later.


Message and subject modification

For the next step in the process of creating an email campaign, you can use the “Design” options in the program. You can now select to customize the layout of the template as you see fit. Adding content can be done by clicking and dragging blocks of content from the right side of the screen to a desired location. The green line that appears on the screen indicates where the part you want to put in the message will be placed.


Each block of content that you post or that is seen in the email can be customized and changed as desired. For example, under the “Options” tab, which you can select at the top of the menu on the right, it is possible to adjust the line height, background color, padding of the content and much more. To do this, you click on any block you want to customize and then go to the “Options” tab.

Do you want to update the subject of the email campaign, you can also do this on this page? For this, you go to the cogwheel icon in the upper right corner of the screen. Once you click on it, a screen appears where you can edit the subject. You can also change the e-mail address and the name of the recipient here. Would you like to test the mail, then you have also the possibilities for that under this function.


Summary of the campaign

Now that you have created the email the way you want it, click on the “Next” button. You will now land on a page with an overview of the email campaign. Using this screen, you can still check the last settings and adjust them if possible. This allows you to prepare the email campaign for sending. On the summary page, you can:

  • Check the subject and information about the sender
  • Check the list of contacts the message will be sent to
  • Select statistics that can help analyze contact behavior in response to the email campaign
  • Schedule a “send” for a future date or send this email immediately
  • Send a test email
  • Show a preview of the campaign
  • View spam and control results

The last function should show “Passed”. If this is not the case, and you get an error message instead, you need to fix this before sending the campaign. Any message other than “Passed” with this function will cause problems when sending the campaign. This means that the email will not end up in the contact’s inbox.

When you’re done checking all the data, click “Send Now” in the top right corner of the screen. You will finally be asked to confirm the sending of the campaign or to cancel it. If you want to send the email campaign at a later time, you can see this under the heading “Scheduled” in the “Campaigns” tab in ActiveCampaign.

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